Meet the Skeletal Analysis Laboratories staff members.


Dr Enrico Dall'Ara

Dr Enrico Dall’Ara holds a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bologna and a PhD in Biomechanics from the Vienna University of Technology (2012). He was appointed as a Lecturer in Musculoskeletal Multiscale Imaging in 2015 and a Senior Lecturer in 2019, after joining the University of Sheffield in 2013 as a Marie Curie fellow.

Enrico’s research interests are related to better understanding the properties of musculoskeletal tissues through the use of multiscale imaging, experimental, and computational methods. In particular the main goal of his research is to develop and validate computational models for the prediction of bone strength, bone remodelling and risk of fracture in health and disease, applied to both preclinical and clinical studies.

He took over as the lead of the lab from Professor Ilaria Bellantuono in 2020.

Professor Ilaria Bellantuono

Ilaria trained as a stem cell biologist at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, University of Manchester and subsequently at Imperial College.

She joined the Mellanby Centre for Bone Research in 2005 where she has established her research programme on the ageing skeleton. In particular, her group is interested in understanding how stem cells age, the impact this has on bone remodelling with age, and ways to delay or prevent it through chemical intervention, such as the use of geroprotectors.

She is currently the Co-Director of the Healthy Lifespan Institute, one of the four flagship institutes at the University of Sheffield, which focusing on improving health by preventing both multimorbidity and age-related frailty.

Professor Tim Skerry

Tim has worked in bone biology research for over 30 years and his primary research interest for a number of years was the molecular responses in bone to mechanical loading and identification of therapeutic targets for anabolic therapies. The main focus of his lab now is the development of small molecule antagonists of the AM2 adrenomedullin receptor.

He is an expert in the assessment of bone biology and responses using traditional and non-invasive imaging modalities (pioneering the use of quantitative peripheral CT in the UK in the 1990s).

Dr David Hughes

  • Consultant Histopathologist
  • Cancer Lead Clinician

David’s initial research was in the investigation of the role of cytokines in bone metabolism, and through his PhD (the University of Sheffield, 1988) he developed an interest in understanding the mechanism of action of bisphosphonates. He continued his work with Professor Mike Rogers defining the role of the mevalonate pathway in the bisphosphonate action.

Dr Hughes is a nationally renowned consultant histopathologist, specialising in sarcoma pathology, and was appointed as Medical Director at the Sheffield Teaching Hospital in 2018.

Orla Gallagher

Orla began her career as a Biomedical Scientist in the diagnostic Histopathology Laboratory of St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. She moved to the University of Sheffield Medical School in 1995 where she managed the daily activities of the Department of Pathology Histology Research Laboratory.

In December 2003, Orla joined the newly-established Bone Analysis Laboratory as the senior research technician and has continued to manage the technical growth and development of the lab.

Orla’s main expertise is the histological preparation of bone and soft tissues including paraffin wax and undecalcified bone sectioning, cryosectioning, and histology dye and immunohistochemical staining. She also has expertise in human and rodent histomorphometry measurement and analysis, and is experienced in ex-vivo MicroCT human and murine sample scanning and analysis.

Alexandra Rayson

Alex initially joined the lab as an undergraduate placement student in 2017 and graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in Biomedical Sciences in 2019.

Alex’s main experience is in the preparation of bone and soft tissue for histology, sectioning, and, histological staining. Alex also has experience working on in vivo studies, particularly the tests for murine healthspan assessment, including novel object recognition, rotarod, and four-limb grid handing. She is also proficient in ex vivo micro-CT scanning of murine bones and histomorphometry.

Maggie Glover

Maggie began working in research in 1986. She initially worked at The Medical School, University of Birmingham where her primary role was to provide support in histology and electron microscopy. She moved to the University of Sheffield in 2000 where she worked as an Electron Microscopy technician at The Sorby Centre, Department of Engineering Materials.

Maggie joined the Academic Unit of Urology in 2005, developing advanced protocols for immunohistochemistry. In 2014 she became Lab Manager for the Histology Facility in the Division of Clinical Medicine (formerly the Department of Oncology) and subsequently joined the skelet.AL team. Her expertise lies in the preparation of soft tissue for histology and optimization/method development for immunohistochemistry.

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